Bangkok Golden vs Little Serow - No contest...
We had dinner at Little Serow on Thursday and there's no question it was a good meal. But dinner for two, with a shared ~ $20 bottle of beer - Red Rice Ale from Japan's Hitachino's Nest Brewery - and an tip appropriate for the excellent service means you depart with $150 less in your pocket than when date night started.
By contrast, it's hard to to leave Bangkok Golden having spent more than $50. The food is just as flavorful, if not more so - the grilled pork neck stands-out as a particularly good, particularly reliable staple of our meals there. Moreover, we haven't had a dish at Bangkok Golden where we found ourselves thinking 'what went wrong there?' - in the case of Little Serow, there was a smoked eggplant that really just smelled/tasted of charcoal (and completely overwhelmed the delicate duck egg that came with it).
I'm curious what other fancy/expensive and casual/inexpensive comparisons Chowhounds have to offer.... I'm not interested in comparisons where one place is just plain bad. Rather, both are good/excellent but one is a more refined experience and the other is cheaper and more casual.
I don't think the food at Little Serow is more refined, but it is more 'hip' with designer drinks, and of course with a cool vibe, intown location, and a name chef.
Another good (though not great) dish I had at Bangkok Golden was an omelet with ant eggs that was made off-menu. Quite savory. You should ask for it sometime.
The key here is that you are not told what you can and cannot have. So many great dishes in one spot!
Not always an easy comparison, but I would rather go with the very limited menu at the super-casual Locolat (Belgian) than some of the well-heeled Belgian places in town. And though it is pricey for the surroundings, I would still rather go to Oohs and Aahs for soul food than a place like Georgia Browns. In addition, I'd rather go to Eyo in Skyline for Ethiopian than paying more and getting less at Ethiopic (which is still a good place too).